Mark Blankenship is a music minister, composer, arranger, orchestrator, music leader, former publisher director, and worship specialist. His ministry career spans over 50 years. His ministry career began in Texas and occupied several states before his retirement.
Mark was born in Chicago, IL while his father was attending Moody Bible Institute preparing to be a pastor. He grew up in the Southwest, primarily in Texas. His college work was done at Oklahoma Baptist University (BM) and The University of Texas (MM). He began his music minister role started in smaller churches, but in his mid-twenties was already positioned in large Southern Baptist churches such as First Baptist Church, Midland, TX, and North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ. During those years in music ministry, Mark became increasingly interested in composing and arranging music.
In 1974 he moved to Nashville to become a Youth and Adult Music Editor for the Baptist Sunday School Board (Lifeway). He ministered there for nearly 30 years in that role, including his service as director of the Music Department and all its publication imprints from 1993-2000.
While in Nashville, Mark's writing career flourished and he became quite prolific. Having had over 400 pieces of published music during his career, he has been commissioned by churches and universities on numerous occasions to write anthems, major musicals, and hymns.
Mark also purposefully pursued music leadership relationships with leaders around the country. He has also been involved with leadership in the international community on numerous occasions in the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and Africa.
Mark has been a featured vocalist on over 100 television segments, as well as co-arranging and co-orchestrating much of the music that was used in those segments with noted composer/arranger/producer/conductor Buryl Red.
Mark took early retirement in 2003, and decided to conclude his ministry career in the local church where he began. He retired from the local church music ministry at First Baptist Church, Hilton Head Island, SC in 2010. He continues to pursue his writing ministry while enjoying retirement with his wife, Judy Starr Blankenship in the Nashville suburb of Franklin. Their family includes a daughter and son-in-law who reside in Franklin, and a son and daughter-in-law and family who live in Huntsville, AL. www.markblankenshipmusic.com